Charles Alan Wright and the University of Texas School of Law

By Laycock, Douglas | Texas International Law Journal, Summer 1997 | Go to article overview

Charles Alan Wright and the University of Texas School of Law


Laycock, Douglas, Texas International Law Journal


DOUGLAS LAYCOCK^

I. INTRODUCTION

This issue of the Texas International Law Journal honors Charles Alan Wright on the occasion of his retirement from The University of Texas Law School. Charlie's retirement is a momentous event in the Law School's history; he has served the Law School well for forty-two years. For most of those years, he was the best known and most respected member of this faculty; for all of those years, he was one of its major figures. His remarkable career spans more than a third of the Law School's history; his story and the Law School's story are inseparable. His personal accomplishments and his institutional loyalty contributed mightily to the Law School's progress over the last four decades.

I cannot imagine Charlie as a callow youth, and maybe he never was one. He has been described as a brash young man, and he was at any rate a remarkably young tenured law professor when he arrived at the Law School in 1955. Born in Philadelphia in September 1927, he graduated from Wesleyan University in 1947 and from Yale Law School in 1949, clerked for Judge Charles E. Clark on the Second Circuit, and assumed his duties as Assistant Professor at Minnesota on or about his twenty-third birthday. He was promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure, in 1953. He came to Texas just as he turned twenty-eight.1

Whether or not Charlie was any different in 1955, everyone and everything else was very different. Several of my younger colleagues had not been born and were not in contemplation; I suspect that their future parents had not met and were still in high school or even junior high. I was in second grade, proudly wearing my Davy Crockett T-shirt and artificial coon skin cap. If Charlie took his young son to see the Disney movie that fueled the Crockett craze, he learned that the eroded desert canyons of far west Texas begin at the Arkansas border.2

II. THE LAW SCHOOL IN 1955

Disney's portrayal of Texas was bad fiction, but the reality of Austin and the Law School in those days was dramatically different from the Austin and the Law School of today. The U.S. flag carried only forty-eight stars, and Texas was the biggest state in the union. The interstate highways had not been authorized, and no jets were yet in commercial passenger service.3 Charlie has long been a train buff, and train service was still viable in 1955. Even so, Texas was a very long ways-even further than Minnesotafrom all of Charlie's early life in the Northeast.

Austin's northern city limit was Anderson Lane, with small irregular peninsulas of incorporated land reaching as far as Rundberg and Peyton Gin Roads.4 The extreme southern city limit was just below where Ben White Boulevard is now, but Ben White did not exist. Ed Bluestein Boulevard did not exist on the east, MoPac was only a railroad track on the west, and Koenig Lane did not connect with the north-south highway through the middle of town, then called East Avenue. Closer to the Law School, 26th Street jogged half a block south at Speedway, then ended altogether at San Jacinto. The Law School sat on the corner of Red River and Park Place. Red River has since been re-routed away from the Law School, and 26th Street has been straightened, widened, and extended, and now renamed in honor of Page Keeton. One block of Park Place still survives as a narrow residential street running diagonally from Keeton to San Jacinto. Austin was much smaller in 1955, but its population was growing fast, from 132,000 in 1950 to 212,000 in 1960.5 If this rate of growth had been maintained, the city's population would now be 1.3 million.

At the Law School, Sweatt v. Painter6 was still recent, and its impact had been small. Leafing through the student photos in the 1955 Peregrinus, I found only three or four students who appeared to be black. Brown v. Board of Education7 had not yet been implemented in Austin or anywhere else in the South. Stores, restaurants, and theaters were segregated in Austin and would remain so for most of another decade, as would social life at the University. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Charles Alan Wright and the University of Texas School of Law
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.